Contributing Writer - Bianca Guttierez, Intern
Part 1 of 3 - Green Careers
While it is not even officially spring yet, it is time to start thinking about summer plans. If you are the parent of a teenager you can be in quite the pickle. How do you keep your teens engaged, busy and learning? The answer is simple - Casey Trees Summer Crew.
Since 2003, the Casey Trees Summer Crew, formerly the Urban Forestry High School Internship, has provided high school students, 16 years old and up, the opportunity to develop professional skills, work outdoors and learn about "green" careers. They also earn some pocket money. Summer Crew members are paid $9.00 an hour and work 35 hours per week, Monday-Friday.
The primary responsibility of the Summer Crew is to care for Casey Trees-planted trees across the City. We don't just plant trees and walk away (nor should you). Crew members water, weed, mulch and help track the condition and health of the trees. They also man the Water By-Cycle, the nation's first bike-powered tree care program.
No prior work experience is required, just an interest in the environment and a strong desire to learn. Summer Crew members are always supervised by a Casey Trees staff member while on the clock.
Summer Crew members also get to do more than just care for trees. In the past they have climbed 100 foot trees at the U.S. National Arboretum, hiked the Oxon Run Watershed, built a rain garden with the Anacostia Watershed Society and attended professional development activities led by leaders in the green industry.
For many Summer Crew members, this hands on experience will be the start of a lifelong love affair with the environment, especially trees. In a recent survey of former Summer Crew members, every respondent replied that working with Casey Trees changed their view of the environment for the better. Nearly all of the alumni who responded still work to improve the environment whether through volunteering, schooling, or just as a hobby.
Applications for the 2010 Summer Crew are being now being accepted online. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2010. If you know of a nephew, niece, student, child, sibling, next door neighbor, etc. that might be interested, encourage them to apply.